How To Stop a Cat From Scratching Door Frames

Cats are notorious scratchers. It’s a deeply ingrained instinct that traces back from their ancestors in the wild. Felines scratch their claws on surfaces to file their nails so it won’t grow too long and dig into their paws.

At home, kitties love targeting furniture and door frames. And why not, though? It’s positioned perfectly for a nice scratching session. This is why you should know how to stop a cat from scratching door frames to save your precious home from damages.

how to stop a cat from scratching door frames

Reasons why cats love scratching

why cats love scratching

To find the best solution for this problem, it’s important to understand why cats do it in the first place. The following are the common reasons why kitties are obsessed with filing their claws:

  • Maintenance. It’s common knowledge that cats are natural groomers. Aside from licking their bodies, they will also trim their nails by scratching them on hard surfaces.
  • For fun. Cats have ways of entertaining themselves, which includes scratching wooden surfaces. Some cats will even purr as they claw their way into your door frame.
  • Marking. Felines are territorial so they will use their scratching habits to mark their territories. Aside from the marks it leaves, the underside of their paws also has scent glands that release a unique pheromone.

Whatever the reason is, it’s important to manage your kitty’s scratching habit. This will keep the order in your household and maintain your door frames.

Methods to stop a cat from scratching door frames

how to stop cat from scratching door frames

Cats are pretty persistent when it comes to their habits, including scratching. Still, cats are no match to these tricks:

Use tin foils

Tin foils are probably the most famous solution every cat owner knows. We also use this to our kitten Watson whenever he scratches our door frame. It’s also an effective deterrent to cats who love jumping on countertops. Learn more here why does my cat jump on my back

The process here is simple: wrap the door frame with tin foil. Make sure that you cover enough height based on how far your kitty can stretch its body and legs.

So how does tin foil works? Well, cats hate the feeling of scratching this material. It will only take a few days for your kitty to realize that the door frame is not the best scratching post.

Stick some double-sided tape

If tin foils ruin the aesthetics of your home, you can opt for a more low-key solution: double-sided tape. Simply stick the tape to your door frame and peel off the cover. This will leave the adhesive on your door frame. When a cat tries to claw on it, they will feel the sticky and uncomfortable sensation. Cats’ paws are sensitive so they don’t like touching any weird texture.

However, make sure that you won’t be the one to stick to the double-sided tape. This way, the tape will remain sticky and effective against warding off your kitty’s claws.

Apply a cat deterrent spray

In case you don’t want to stick anything to your door frame, a cat deterrent spray will work. This is often made of artificial pheromone, which will stop a cat’s marking behavior. Please read here Do female cat spray when in heat

If you don’t have this handy, you can make a DIY deterrent spray. The easiest solution here is lemon juice. Spray a small amount of lemon juice on your door frame and see if your kitty will try to touch it. This works for my kitten Watson and for most cats as well.

Redirect the behavior

There’s no way to stop a cat from scratching. Doing so is like stopping a person from scratching an itchy rash.

Instead of stopping your cat, you can redirect its scratching behavior somewhere else. This is where scratching posts become indispensable. Sisal rope scratching posts are the most popular option among cat owners. The rope has a texture that cats like. It also prevents them from scratching on furniture.

I suggest putting up deterrents on your door frame even if you purchased a scratching post. You can only remove the deterrents once your kitty is fully invested in its new toy.

Give lots of toys

Lastly, you can get your cat’s mind out of scratching by keeping it busy with toys. Consider interactive toys that move and make sounds. Toys with catnip are also excellent options, but beware because your cat may go unhinged and scratch more.

Lasers, balls, yarns, and toy rates are excellent options here. This will drain your cat’s extra energy so it’s less likely to scratch your door frame.

Declawing is never an option!

declawing cats

While the scratching habits of cats may become annoying, you should never consider declawing. This procedure is inhumane and it will ruin your cat’s paws. Removing the claws of cats will only make it difficult for them to walk, run, and leap. In short, declawing will make your cat’s life miserable.

Declawing is a form of punishment and it will bring a lifetime of pain to your pet. If you’re not prepared to deal with the scratching habit of felines, it’s best that you don’t get one. Learn more here when can a kitten be declawed

Scratching is just one of the things you have to deal with as a cat owner. It’s a common problem with very simple solutions. You just have to be patient and creative with your approach.

Proper nail grooming is important to reduce the damage your cat may do to furniture. Keep it at an ideal length and make sure that the tips are blunt.

How do I stop a cat from scratching doors to get in?

Some cats are clingy so they try to scratch the door to get inside the room. This can be an annoying behavior, especially if it occurs during bedtime.

For this situation, you can use the same methods above. You can wrap your doors with tin foil, double-sided tape, or a deterrent spray.

However, it’s also important to understand why your cat is trying to get inside your room. The kitty might be scared, in pain, or hungry. It’s important to check and rule out potential health problems. If the vet finds out that the problem is merely behavioral, training and deterrents will be your bosom buddy.

You should set the boundaries with your cat as early as possible. If you let the kitty sleep in your bed anytime, it will soon scratch the door if you lock it out. In the long run, scratching will become a learned behavior, especially if you open the door whenever the cat scratches. Please read here why does my cat scratch the floor before drinking water


Knowing how to stop a cat from scratching door frames should be in every owner’s survival guide. While it’s a feline’s instinct to scratch, there are things you can do to limit this. Diverting the behavior into scratching posts and using deterrents are effective solutions.

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